In the Avengers Tower, there is a man who does not belong there, yet he has made himself quite at home. He walks through the hallways as if he owns them—he might make a case that, as possession is nine tenths of ownership, he may as well—and takes in the sight of his orders being carried out here and there. The worker drones buzz and hum around him but leave him wide berth (as well they should), never looking him in the eye. Here and there others bob more purposefully through the mix, carrying bits of machinery, rolls of wire and boxes of components, things that he doesn’t understand but doesn’t need to. He has Stark for that. The genius in his workshop, slaving away with sweat on his brow and a glint in the back of his eyes, envisioning and rearranging and slotting together the pieces. Every time he goes to check on progress, the man grits his teeth and glares at him but does not stop working. Really, he can’t, and the Purple Man doesn’t mind his animosity at all.
“You’ve always called yourself a philanthropist,” he tells him. “You ought to be glad I’m letting you help me end one of the great wrongs of the world. You and I both know what the appointed leaders really do with the power they’re given. All I’m doing is putting a stop to that.”
In the first few days of his conquest, he had actually let Stark answer, but it had gotten in the way of the work. So now he satisfies himself with a glance at the twitching muscle in Tony’s jaw and a congenial pat on the shoulder. And most days he would leave it at that, but today he calls out to the Tower’s omnipresent AI and has one of the screens display the latest news, the sound carrying over the ticking and whirring of the device that has begun to grow in the corner of the room.
“You can comfort yourself with the idea that you’re not the only one working for me, if you want,” the Purple Man adds as Stark’s jaw twitches more fiercely and as he grips the wrench in his hands until his knuckles go white. In accordance with his orders, the television cameras are following the fight closely, right in the thick of the action so that any reporter with a shred of self-preservation instinct would be long gone. But it’s just too good to miss. Three weeks in, and the powers that be still haven’t learned: tanks and personnel carriers foraying across the bridge only to be met with the troops they’d sent last week, who were now answering to a different command. But more than that, there was lightning, a dense ceiling of clouds, and a figure draped in dramatic red. A speck in the battle but a powerful one, and wherever he goes the fighting is soon ended one way or another.
The Purple Man smirks at the screen. He has control of a whole city full of people, and it will be more whenever the device is complete, and no one will ever again be able to wield their unearned power over him.
Not to mention, he has control of a god. He has to admit he likes that part.
Thor feels dread welling up as soon as the combat is over.
He has fought Midgardians before, of course, but never like this. He knows he is on the wrong side of the battle. He sees the terror in the mortals’ faces when he comes before them, shining in the might and glory of the gods, sparks lighting off his hammer as he swings it to cut them down. He knows, he sees, and there is a burning in his eyes like unshed tears, but no matter what he wishes, he cannot stop himself. He has been commanded to fight without holding back—as he had never done on this fragile world before.
He can do no more to stop himself than he would be able to will his heart to stop beating. He knows; over the weeks since this began, he has tried both countless times. It is a compulsion, whether its nature is magical or one of Midgardian technology he does not know and it hardly seems to matter. He has struggled in its grasp and cannot break its fetters, no matter how he tries, and those he swore to protect have suffered at his hand for his failure.
On those orders he came here, on those orders he fought, and now—though he dares not cast a look around himself—from the midst of the smoking wreckage he hurls himself again into the sky and back toward the Tower, as he had been ordered to do when the threat was successfully dispatched.
His eyes water and stream in the wind. They burn with unshed tears, for what is yet to come seems worse than what he has already done this day, though he knows the feeling is unworthy. The purple-skinned villain always pays him special attention in the aftermath of such battles. And that he cannot help but dread.
It would be easier to bear if he could tell himself that by becoming the target of that gaze he keeps it from the others, lessens the torments suffered by his friends. He tried to comfort himself with that thought at first. But now he knows it is not so. There is misery enough to go around, and more to spare.
Misery enough—Thor knows what he will see as he steps through the doors of the Tower, yet he is forever unprepared for it, for it is to step into a realm of horrors subtle and dire. Out on the streets, the people he sees go about their lives, as they have been told to do, with a frightened, empty light in the backs of their eyes, like beasts penned to wait for the slaughter. They keep their heads low; they do not look at him if they can avoid it. They fear to draw his attention, or thereby that of the one who commands him. Within these doors, it is different, and it is he who attempts not to see.
Those who are not useful—or those who roused the Purple Man’s ire—are set to their own tasks, by which the Purple Man amuses himself.
On the first day, when it began, Barton managed to fight back before the commands took hold, the shot nearly succeeding, slicing a red line across the villain’s shoulder. Thor has come across him only a few times since then, huddled over the nested bundle of his jacket, arms crooked, soft and confused cawing noises emerging from his mouth, his face blank of thought. One of those times, he caught Natasha staring their way, her eyes ablaze, red and damp.
But there is nothing he could do to help them. He has been ordered not to interfere with anything he sees. So now he avoids the sight and the sick pain it brings in the pit of his stomach, and with his eyes kept low he mounts the levels to his own quarters, and he wishes, though without much hope, for respite before the night’s torment begins.
And of course, he is not so fortunate, as he had known he would not be. He pushes on his own door and the Purple Man is there already, pawing carelessly through the few interesting trinkets Thor displays on a bookshelf—he opens a little box of wood from Alfheim, inlaid with polished black and white horn, peers within it, closes it with a snap.
The Purple Man has been waiting for him, and Thor dreads what is to come.
“Very nicely done,” the Purple Man says as Thor steps inside. “I was watching you today, and that… was very nice. It makes me wonder why you always used to go easy before—it makes such an impressive show when you don’t—but I guess it’s good for me. They still haven’t figured out what they’re up against, have they?”
Thor does not answer. He has learned that a question is not a command to speak, and he is better off if he doesn’t. And he feels better as well. He can imagine that something he could say might matter.
The villain smiles at him then. “In fact, I think I feel like celebrating. I think it’s put me in that sort of mood. So why don’t you put that down, and we’ll both get comfortable.”
Mjolnir dangles from Thor’s hand and he lets it go. The thunk it makes as it touches the floor is solid and final, and without it he feels…
He watches the Purple Man’s face, and there is nothing he can do but wait for the villain to tell him how he will suffer tonight, because the villain is creative. He has come up with so many different ways. Sometimes it is simple—conversations that sound, to the ear, like pleasant ones. He tells Thor his justifications and asks for Thor’s opinion; in mock-solicitousness he coaxes Thor to say how he would revenge himself if he were free to do so. He laughs in Thor’s face at the sound of his empty threats until anger rolls up and down Thor’s body in waves, with no outlet, no way to escape.
Other times, instead, he tests the limits of god-flesh, its capacity for punishment and pain. With knives and worse things, with acids and implements whose purpose he knows not, just things he claims to have found elsewhere in the Tower, and he commands Thor to stay still no matter what is done, and somehow… his body obeys. He commands Thor not to close his lips against his screams, even when he grows hoarse, every breath a rasping pain. In the aftermath of those nights Thor is more grateful than he has ever been for the speed of his healing—for the very sight of his wounded flesh makes him shudder, the horror of it so much greater than any injury he has ever earned in honest battle.
Sometimes, though, the goal is pleasure. Pleasure, and Thor’s humiliation, and the worst of all the lessons Thor has ever been forced to learn on this realm is that even against this, there is nothing he can do.
Thus it is this night. When the order comes, unwilling hands drop to his belt while his cheeks flame and his eyes stare off at a distant corner of the floor.
Quickly, efficiently, he disrobes, his armor going first, the shining scale clinking lightly as he throws it aside. Then boots and tunic. Trousers and underclothes. He peels them all off without pause, because that is what he has been told to do, and he tries not to think of what he is doing. He tries not to be aware of the villain’s prurient gaze, or the way that even now he is murmuring praises for Thor’s performance in the earlier battle.
And then, at a word, at a now-familiar command, Thor is dropping to his knees to allow his mouth to be used. The villain’s hand coils around a hank of his hair, pulling him closer, and his body obeys each detailed command, no matter how loathsome he finds it or how fiercely he wishes not to be doing this.
There is nothing he can do. He cannot fight it and he does not try.
Naked, he kneels and sucks the villain’s cock.
The only mercy for which he is grateful is that, unlike the first few times, the Purple Man has not gathered any others to watch or take part in Thor’s degradation, and thus there is no one else there to see what Thor can be made to do or to see the tears that are rising swiftly in his eyes.
There is only one person he thinks of who could, who might—but no, he dares not even dream of that. No aid is coming. All Thor can do is try to endure.
Behind a spell of concealment, wedged into a corner of Thor’s room, Loki watches, and his pulse is thudding harder within his chest with every moment that passes.
For the past month, he had been in Latveria. He had gone there—not fled, he was not fleeing, but simply gone, because he needed to be elsewhere for time. He had been on edge too long, everything he tried to do tainted, his mind circling like crows over the wreckage of his last battle with his brother. He had needed a distraction, and he knew as always that Doom could provide that, so he had gone there, made himself extravagantly comfortable, and he had not allowed a single thought of blonds or hammers or heroes to enter his mind. In fact, he had likely ignored an entire hemisphere of this world.
Loki has a vague memory of Victor’s look of mild perplexity when he had flicked off the American television news with an unnecessary flash of rolling green fire across the screen and an insistence that he simply did not care, that whatever it was could wait for his return.
Today, though, he had returned to this, and he had not at first known what “this” was. Puzzled, he had sensed the strangeness in the air, a subdued mass of silent, quashed panic without a cause. But as he had made his way toward his usual lair, passing near to the center of the city as he went, he had begun to form a suspicion. That suspicion had led him here, and he’d neared the Tower simply knowing that he was right—that the Avengers had gotten themselves into some terrible mess while he’d been away.
He’d smirked at the thought, felt a little regretful that he’d missed part of the fun, felt a little thrill of anticipation as he sneaked inside, toward the level that he knew was Thor’s…
And now, he stands in the corner of Thor’s room behind a spell of concealment, and he has found Thor, who has always been so assured of his own strength and indomitability, who has never bowed to the will of others… like this.
Loki cannot help but stare. The sight lights uneasy sparks within him.
He watches as Thor’s eyes squeeze shut, as a droplet falls to his cheek, as a purple-skinned hand tangles with golden hair. He stares at the fading bruises and scars that mar Thor’s naked back.
He stares at the bruises, at the defeated slump of Thor’s shoulders, at the obedient way his cheeks hollow as he sucks, and the sparks he feels are those of vicarious enjoyment of his long-despised brother’s predicament, amusement at his expense. The golden prince of Asgard being brought low, his armor of arrogance stripped away, his own final powerlessness rubbed in his face.
Loki almost wishes he had been the one to come up with that trick, and, smirking, silent and unseen, he settles in to enjoy the show.
He does wonder, though, with a sort of professional curiosity, exactly how the trick is done. He has already put some of the pieces together, and what he sees now helps to complete the picture. He has figured out by now what the villain’s power does, even if he does not know how it functions.
He takes it in when, a minute later, the villain does not let Thor finish his work but instead orders him onto his feet again and tells him to lean up onto the table on his hands with legs spread wide.
Without a moment’s hesitation, Thor does it, with a helpless, guttering light in the back of his blue eyes. But then he lets his head hang low between his arms, not trying to look to see what is coming. He only tenses slightly but does not move when the villain steps behind him and cups Thor’s ass in one vicious hand.
Somehow, Thor is truly at the mortal villain’s mercy. Somehow, Thor is being controlled such that he cannot disobey any order voiced to him, his body carrying out the commands without his intention, but his mind is still his own. He hates every moment of this, and Loki can see his will to fight grown thin, worn away to almost nothing by the knowledge that there is nothing he can do to save himself, that all his strength has failed him against this foe. Loki can feel his cold despair.
And a horrible, heady thrill drops into Loki’s stomach as he listens for the words that the villain nuzzles against Thor’s ear to deliver.
“I want you to enjoy this,” the villain smiles. And Loki can see Thor’s shoulders sag as he understands what he’s just been told to do.
Thor cannot help it, and he hates that there is nothing he can do.
The villain stands behind him, squeezing and rubbing his ass in a proprietary fashion. Thor feels himself being spread, a teasing thumb rubbing against the pucker between his cheeks, and humiliation spreads through him, tight and thick in his chest, yet the unwanted pleasure does as well. With each heartbeat, his cock awakens further, growing heavy between his legs.
His head hangs between his braced arms. He keeps his eyes closed, as if that will protect him, but his body jolts a little as unexpected cold wetness dribbles into the cleft, and it should not be possible but even this ignites his nerves, sending signals of enticing pleasure.
He bites his lip to hold back a moan, and his mind is full, spinning with memories of every other time that the villain has done this to him. Sometimes he is only made to be willing, pliant, submitting to whatever the man desires. Sometimes he is allowed to voice his displeasure, his rage even as he is being abused. Sometimes—
There is a brief slick press of the head of the villain’s prick against Thor’s hole and then all at once he is impaled, and Thor cannot help but give a shout at the spike of pain.
Oh it hurts, the too-sudden invasion, yet the imposed pleasure makes his cock jump all the same, and the combination makes the heat in his face burn brighter. Then the villain takes hold of his hips and begins to thrust into him, and each stroke stirs him, and Thor hates how he cannot stop the way his body responds.
He also despises how the villain seems unable to glory in his victory without speaking, describing all of it in loving detail—what he is doing just at this moment and the far worse things he has done to Thor in the past—so that Thor cannot shut out the sound of his voice as he describes each miserable humiliation.
Only then does it occur to him to wonder whether the command to “enjoy this” was meant to cover not only the physical acts that he is being subjected to but also the steady stream of words being pressed into his ears. And as soon as the thought hits him, he wishes to weep… for he knows the answer, and the enjoyment of each word sinks to the pit of his stomach hot and heavy as burning coals.
Where he watches from behind the curtain of magical concealment, Loki is trembling and cannot stop himself.
At first he had felt only amusement and curiosity and that vicarious spark, watching as the villain nudged Thor’s feet farther apart, watching him give Thor a bit of casual, disrespectful preparation, and he had taken note of every little response of Thor’s traitorous body. This was something new indeed—the shiver passing through Thor’s broad back, the shout of pain that faded quickly into a choked whimper, the red flush of shame that appears on his cheek and his head hanging lower as if to hide it.
But before long Loki can no longer deny that what he feels is more than mere detached fascination at the sight of Thor so powerless: no, it excites him to see Thor treated in such lowly fashion, to see him so terribly used.
A particularly vicious thrust shoves Thor’s hips sharply forward, making him cry out, making him clench his hands against the tabletop until his knuckles go white. There is tension in the bare line of his back and in the tremble in his thighs as he fights against the inevitable, and Loki can hear the desperate pleasure in the way Thor moans and whines, pulled back and forth on the villain’s prick, his whole body writhing no matter how he must be trying to stop it.
Loki finds himself unconsciously pressing and rubbing a hand against his own hardness through his clothes as he watches, and he does not think he had ever been as aroused, the unexpected shock sending a shiver rolling up and down his back as if he’d been doused in Thor’s lightning: Thor, naked and subjugated to another’s will, helpless and lost in pleasure, is glorious. And Loki wants him more than he has ever wanted anything.
He wants to be the one standing behind Thor, buried deep in his stormy, welcoming heat, and he wants to bend down and lay his cheek against Thor’s back as he fucks him so that he can feel every rumbling groan working its way through him, and he wants to thumb the bruises that the insolent little mortal has dared to lay on his brother’s flesh. Loki can almost feel the tenderness of Thor’s nipples pinched between his fingers, and he imagines that the sounds that fill the air here are made for him, and he imagines slipping a hand between Thor’s legs to weigh the soft sac of his balls and rub at the insistent heat of his twitching cock, promising pleasures that Thor would not be able to accept without deepest shame. He wants to be the one to command Thor to come whether he wishes to or not. He wants to drink down Thor’s humiliation and his pleasure.
Loki again becomes vividly aware of the mortal villain currently fucking his brother with abandon and the litany of crude and creative words that pours from his mouth, and Loki suddenly despises every bloody sinew of his being. Loathes him utterly for what he is doing and what he has done. For what he has stolen that by rights should be Loki’s.
Oblivious, the villain bends, hunching with vile glee to crow over his prize, smile splitting his purple lips. “You do love getting fucked in the ass, don’t you, o mighty Thor? It’s okay, you can be honest.”
Loki watches, breath catching almost painfully, as Thor only manages a weak moan in reply.
The villain is by now pounding him hard and steady, pulling Thor back and forth by the hips, slamming up against the backs of his thighs. Thor can feel the slap of the man’s balls against his, and he is by now unable to hold back any of the whimpers and groans that the sensations pull from him, though each one shreds away the last vestiges of his pride.
He is once again glad that at least there is no audience to see him as the pleasure crests and he cries out hard and spills, cock jerking and spurting untouched into the empty air.
The warm drowsiness that follows does nothing to decrease the hold of the villain’s commands over him, but it does grant Thor a few minutes where he cares less what is done to him, only that he is not called upon to shake himself out of his torpor.
He does not even try to fight as a hand shoves down on his back until he is pressed flat to the tabletop, the slick, cold mess of his own spill smearing against his belly, a sensation that should leave him disgusted except that he has felt so much worse. At the moment he barely notices.
Thor’s mind is elsewhere.
He is exhausted. In the past he has fought enemies for months without rest, the hammer heavy in his hand and sleep a distant memory, and still he has never been this weary. For weeks he has fought, struggled, resisted. He had at first felt certain that all he needed was to gather his force of will to break himself free of the compulsion. Then, for a while, he had held out in the belief that help would come. And later, when he abandoned that hope, he had become determined to fight for the sake of fighting, certain that even a futile battle was somehow worthier, nobler, than giving in. But that… in the end that had only made his defeats more painful, his disgraces more sour in his mouth.
He has never been as helpless as this. He has never been as weary. And all he wishes to do—all he can do, perhaps—is to conserve what little strength is left to him. To curl around the core of himself, protecting it, so that if help ever comes he will be there to receive it.
So that is what he does as the last of the sleepy pleasure forced upon him leaches out of the soles of his feet and into the hard floor beneath him. He closes his eyes and tries to drift away.
Concealed, Loki is trembling in silent fury, and he can no longer tell when it began, when it changed from what he felt before. All he knows is that it threatens to consume him.
This pathetic mortal villain dares to take what belongs to Loki, to do this to Loki’s—to Thor—
Releasing a breath, Loki forces his hands to unclench, feeling the stinging indents of his fingernails in his palms, and instead begins to think.
He realizes only then that he has already gone through all the options in the back of his mind before he knew what he meant to do. Before he knew that he planned to do anything.
Loki doesn’t understand how the mortal has Thor under his power, and that makes him nervous. Whatever it is, he is sure he can use his magic to counter it—but, perhaps, not quickly enough. He would have to feel out what he is up against first, and with Thor under the villain’s command… such a confrontation might not go the way Loki wants. It is all risk, too much risk.
On the other hand, he does know that there is nothing special about the Purple Man’s voice in itself. That is not the method by which he wields his power; it is only the medium of the command. Any voice would likely do. It is just that the villain himself is immune to the power he projects. And, somehow, Loki is immune as well. And if that means what he believes it means… well, then there is one good option.
With eyes narrowed, Loki watches as the villain finishes and Thor collapses forward onto his folded arms, unable to collect himself, legs quivering.
And while the villain is sated, lazy and slow in his triumph, Loki creeps out of the corner, still unseen. He creeps right up next to the table, close enough to smell Thor’s sweat and to see the miserable twisting of his brow and the red tinge in the glistening spit on his lip.
He does not touch but leans close, as close as he can get, to whisper in Thor’s ear.
“You will listen only to me from now on, brother,” he says, hoping that he has chosen the right words, the ones that will protect them both. Hoping he has guessed right about the nature of the compulsion to which Thor is subjected. “Forget everything he’s asked of you. Just come with me.”
Thor stiffens. His eyelids jolt open, a flash of electrified blue. Then Loki lets fall the concealment spell, brings his hand up to Thor’s shoulder to steady him. It is odd how quickly relief overtakes Thor’s features in a damp and grateful smile, and Loki would have to examine the way his heart answers if he didn’t have more pressing matters to attend to—not the villain sputtering in shock behind them, in fact, or any rebuke or warning he’d grant him, but only getting them both away from there before anything has a chance to go wrong.
To that end, Loki casts the concealment back over them both like a blanket, and in an instant they are gone.